Community support for brave Roisin

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A YOUNG mother, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) last December, has exceeded her fundraising target of €10,000 to help her to make the transition from being “able-bodied to disabled” more comfortable.

Drimnagh woman Roisin Foley (30), was diagnosed with the condition after she experienced a loss of power in her right hand which has now progressed to the stage where she has lost all fine motor skills in her hand, leaving her unable to write, tie shoelaces or button up clothes.

Roisin Foley 02

Roisin Foley 

Roisin, mother to Rachel (12), Sadie (6) and Rosie (5), has also struggled with involuntary full-body twitches as a result of MND, and the incurable disease can ultimately cause sufferers to struggle with speaking, eating, drinking, walking and breathing.

Last February Roisin’s aunty and uncle set up a Go Fund Me page for her, with a target of €10,000, so that relatives living abroad could donate to her – but the local community also got behind Roisin and the Go Fund Me page has raised over €900 more than its target at the time of going to print.

Roisin, who is a past pupil of the Assumption Secondary School in Walkinstown, told The Echo: “My aunty and uncle set up that page for family members who are overseas, they weren’t expecting it to get so much attention.

“It’s unbelievable, it makes me so emotional – people who I haven’t seen since primary school and people who I met on holidays have donated.

“Nobody was expecting this result.”

Roisin explained that she is planning to use the money to help her when she will move to a wheelchair accessible house in the near future, and to “bank her voice”, so that when she loses her voice the communication system she will use will consist of recordings of her own voice.

While the disease isn’t progressing rapidly and MND symptoms typically don’t appear in any particular order, Roisin currently has difficulties using her keys to get into her house, the bone in her right hand has started to protrude, and she has been advised by doctors to “put on as much weight as possible” as when her muscles become weaker she may lose a lot of weight.

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Roisin at home with her daughters Rachel, Sadie and Rosie

Roisin explained: “There’s no particular order that the symptoms come in, so I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

“My 12-year-old knows [about the MND], I explained it to her, and my other two daughters call my right hand ‘Mam’s crooked hand’.

“My five-year-old only started school in September and the other two had to teach her how to close her own buttons because I couldn’t do it, and my 12-year-old has to do their hair before school because I can’t.”

Roisin added that she is very grateful for all of the donations that she has received, and that it shows that there is “so much goodness out there”.

A benefit night will also be held for Roisin in Drimnagh later in the year, and if you want to donate to her fund you can visit her Go Fund Me page at https://www.gofundme. com/roisinfoleyfund

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